Exploring Bikaner, Must-Visit Destinations in Rajasthan’s Desert City

Exploring Bikaner, Must-Visit Destinations in Rajasthan’s Desert City

Discover the top attractions in Bikaner with Bout India's travel guide. Explore the majestic Junagarh Fort, the unique Karni Mata Temple and more


A Glimpse into the Heritage of Bikaner

Nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, Bikaner is a city that exudes historical grandeur and cultural richness. Known for its majestic forts, palaces, and temples, Bikaner offers a journey back in time to the era of royal Rajput kings. This enchanting destination boasts a blend of architectural marvels and traditional Rajasthani hospitality, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and avid travellers alike.

Why Bikaner Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List?

Bikaner is not just about historical landmarks; it is a vibrant city where the past and the present coexist harmoniously. From the bustling markets filled with local handicrafts to the tranquil lakeside palaces, Bikaner promises an immersive experience that captivates every visitor. Whether you're an adventure seeker, a culture aficionado, or a foodie, Bikaner has something extraordinary to offer.


Junagarh Fort:

Historical Significance

Junagarh Fort stands as a testament to Bikaner's glorious past. Unlike other forts in Rajasthan, it was never conquered, highlighting the valiant spirit of its rulers. Built-in the late 16th century by Raja Rai Singh, this fort has witnessed centuries of history unfold within its robust walls.

Architectural Marvels

The fort is a stunning example of Rajput architecture with Mughal influences. Its intricate stone carvings, vast courtyards, and majestic halls showcase the craftsmanship of a bygone era. The stunning blend of red sandstone and marble creates a striking visual appeal that leaves visitors in awe.

Must-See Attractions Within the Fort

Inside Junagarh Fort, you'll find several notable structures such as the Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas, and the Chandra Mahal. Each palace and hall boasts unique features, from exquisite mirror work to ornate frescoes. The fort's museum houses a collection of artefacts, including weapons, costumes, and paintings that provide deeper insights into the royal lifestyle.


Gajner Palace and Lake:

A Serene Lakeside Retreat

Gajner Palace, situated on the banks of Gajner Lake, is a tranquil retreat away from the city's hustle and bustle. This palace was once a hunting lodge for the Bikaner royals and now serves as a heritage hotel.

The Grandeur of Gajner Palace

The palace's stunning architecture, lush gardens, and serene lake create a picturesque setting. The blend of red sandstone with lush green surroundings and a tranquil lake makes it an idyllic spot for relaxation and photography.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Spotting

Gajner Lake is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The area is home to numerous species of migratory birds, especially during winter. Visitors can also spot wildlife such as deer and antelope in the nearby Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary.


Karni Mata Temple:

The Unique Temple of Rats

Karni Mata Temple, located in Deshnoke, near Bikaner, is one of the most unique temples in India. Known as the Temple of Rats, it is home to thousands of rats that are considered sacred. Devotees believe these rats, or "kabas," are reincarnations of Karni Mata's followers.

Mythological and Cultural Importance

According to legend, Karni Mata, a revered female sage, had miraculous powers. When her stepson died, she requested Yama, the god of death, to reincarnate him. Yama granted her wish, and since then, her followers are believed to be reincarnated as rats. This temple holds immense cultural significance and is a major pilgrimage site.

Visitor Tips for the Temple

When visiting Karni Mata Temple, be prepared for the unusual sight of rats scurrying around. It's considered auspicious if a rat runs over your feet. Make sure to cover your head and wear respectful attire. Photography is allowed, but be mindful of the temple's sanctity.


National Research Centre on Camel:

The Camel Capital of India

Bikaner is renowned as the Camel Capital of India, and the National Research Centre on Camel (ICAR) is a testament to this title. Established in 1984, ICAR is dedicated to the research and development of camels, an integral part of Rajasthan's culture and economy.

Research and Conservation Efforts

ICAR focuses on the breeding, health, and utility of camels. Visitors can learn about different camel breeds and their significance. The centre's efforts in the conservation and sustainable use of camels have garnered international recognition.

Camel Rides and Activities for Visitors

At ICAR, visitors can enjoy camel rides and interact with these gentle giants. The centre also has a camel milk parlour where you can taste unique camel milk products like ice cream and cheese. It's an educational and enjoyable experience for all age groups.


Sand Dunes Safari:

The Thrill of Desert Exploration

Exploring the Thar Desert is an adventure that should not be missed when visiting Bikaner. A desert safari offers the thrill of traversing the vast dunes and experiencing the stark beauty of the desert landscape.

Dune Bashing and Camel Safaris

Visitors can choose between exhilarating dune bashing in 4x4 vehicles or a more traditional camel safari. Both options provide a unique way to explore the desert and enjoy the mesmerizing sunset views over the dunes.

Overnight Camps and Cultural Shows

For a more immersive experience, overnight desert camps are available. These camps offer comfortable accommodations, traditional Rajasthani meals, and cultural shows featuring folk music and dance. It's a perfect way to experience the desert's serene beauty and vibrant culture.


Rampuria Havelis:

Architectural Elegance of the Havelis

The Rampuria Havelis are a group of exquisite mansions that epitomize the grandeur of Bikaner's merchant class. Built-in the 19th century, these havelis are renowned for their intricate stone carvings, jharokhas (overhanging enclosed balconies), and lavish interiors.

The Rich Merchant History

These havelis were constructed by the wealthy Rampuria family, known for their opulence and influence in Bikaner. Each haveli showcases the family's prosperity and the artistic finesse of that era.

Walking Tours and Photography

Exploring Rampuria Havelis on foot is a delightful experience. The narrow lanes and vibrant facades provide ample opportunities for photography. Guided tours offer deeper insights into the history and architectural nuances of these magnificent structures.


Bhandasar Jain Temple:

Spiritual and Architectural Wonder

The Jain Temple Bhandasar, also known as Banda Shah Jain Temple, is a marvel of spiritual and architectural beauty. Constructed in the 15th century, this temple is dedicated to Sumatinath, the fifth Tirthankara of Jainism. Its structure is adorned with vibrant frescoes depicting the lives of the Jain saints and intricate mirror work that adds to its splendour.

Intricate Frescoes and Artworks

One of the temple's most striking features is its intricate frescoes, which cover the walls and ceilings. These paintings are rich in colour and detail, depicting scenes from Jain mythology and daily life. The use of gold leaf in the artwork adds a touch of opulence and showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of the artists of that time.

Religious Significance

For the Jain community, Bhandasar Temple holds immense religious significance. It is not only a place of worship but also a site for pilgrimage. The temple's serene ambience offers a perfect setting for meditation and reflection, attracting devotees and tourists alike.


The Royal Cenotaphs:

Historical Remembrances

Devi Kund Sagar, nestled on the outskirts of Bikaner, houses the royal cenotaphs, or chhatris, of the Bikaner royal family. These elegant structures serve as memorials to the departed royals and are significant historical landmarks.

Architectural Grandeur

The cenotaphs at Devi Kund Sagar are architectural marvels adorned with intricate carvings and designs. Each cenotaph is unique in its architecture, reflecting the individuality of the royalty it commemorates. The craftsmanship displayed in these structures is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Bikaner.

A Tranquil Retreat

Surrounded by lush greenery and serene waters, Devi Kund Sagar offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city life. Visitors can stroll amidst the cenotaphs, admiring the architectural beauty and paying homage to the erstwhile rulers of Bikaner.


Lalgarh Palace and Museum:

Regal Splendor

Lalgarh Palace, a magnificent architectural marvel, stands as a tribute to the grandeur of Bikaner's royalty. Built in the early 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh, this imposing structure showcases a fusion of Rajput, Mughal, and European architectural styles.

Opulent Interiors

The interiors of Lalgarh Palace are adorned with exquisite artworks, intricate carvings, and luxurious furnishings. The palace museum houses a remarkable collection of artefacts, including royal portraits, vintage photographs, and antique weaponry, offering a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Bikaner royals.

Cultural Extravaganza

Apart from its architectural significance, Lalgarh Palace is also a cultural hub, hosting various events and festivals throughout the year. Visitors can witness traditional Rajasthani performances, including folk dances, music recitals, and puppet shows, immersing themselves in the vibrant cultural heritage of Bikaner.


Shri Laxminath Temple:

Sacred Abode

Shri Laxminath Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Bikaner. Built-in the early 19th century by Maharaja Rao Lunkaran, this temple holds immense religious significance for the locals.

Architectural Splendor

The temple's architecture is a blend of Rajput and Mughal styles, characterized by intricately carved pillars, ornate domes, and colourful frescoes. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idols of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, adorned with precious jewels and offered daily prayers by devotees.

Spiritual Serenity

Shri Laxminath Temple exudes a sense of spiritual serenity, attracting devotees from far and wide. The rhythmic chanting of hymns, the fragrance of incense, and the sight of devout worshippers create a tranquil atmosphere conducive to prayer and introspection.


Prachina Museum:

Preserving Cultural Heritage

Prachina Museum, located within the premises of Junagarh Fort, is a treasure trove of Bikaner's rich cultural heritage. Founded by Princess Siddhi Kumari, this museum aims to preserve and showcase the traditional arts, crafts, and lifestyle of Rajasthan.

Exquisite Artefacts

The museum houses a diverse collection of artefacts, including traditional costumes, jewellery, textiles, paintings, and household items. Each exhibit is meticulously curated, providing visitors with insights into the artistic and cultural traditions of Bikaner.

Interactive Exhibits

Prachina Museum offers a unique interactive experience, allowing visitors to participate in various cultural activities such as turban tying, mehndi application, and puppetry. These hands-on activities provide a glimpse into the daily lives and rituals of the people of Rajasthan.


Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum:

Cultural Repository

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum is another prominent institution dedicated to preserving Bikaner's cultural heritage. Established in 1937 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Maharaja Ganga Singh, this museum houses a vast collection of artefacts spanning centuries of history.

Historical Treasures

The museum's exhibits include archaeological finds, sculptures, coins, manuscripts, and weapons from different periods of Bikaner's history. Highlights include relics from the Indus Valley Civilization, the Gupta Empire, and medieval Rajput kingdoms, offering valuable insights into the region's past.

Educational Insights

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum serves as an educational resource for scholars, researchers, and history enthusiasts. The museum's informative displays, accompanied by detailed descriptions and multimedia presentations, provide a comprehensive understanding of Bikaner's cultural evolution.


The Old City of Bikaner:

Historic Heart

Bikaner's Old City, with its labyrinthine lanes and ancient architecture, is a living testament to the city's rich history and heritage. Encircled by imposing walls and grand gateways, the Old City exudes an old-world charm that transports visitors back in time.

Architectural Marvels

The Old City is replete with architectural marvels, including elaborately carved havelis, intricately designed temples, and majestic forts. The narrow alleys and bustling bazaars add to the allure, offering a glimpse into the vibrant lifestyle of its inhabitants.

Cultural Melting Pot

The Old City is a cultural melting pot, where traditions and customs from different eras converge harmoniously. From religious processions and folk festivals to street performances and culinary delights, every corner of the Old City pulsates with life and energy.


Urmul Desert Crafts Store:

Artisanal Delights

Urmul Desert Crafts Store is a haven for connoisseurs of traditional Rajasthani handicrafts and artefacts. Located in the heart of Bikaner, this boutique showcases a wide array of handmade products crafted by local artisans using age-old techniques.

Handcrafted Treasures

Visitors to Urmul Desert Crafts Store can browse through an extensive collection of textiles, pottery, jewellery, leather goods, and home decor items. Each product is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess of Rajasthan.

Supporting Artisan Communities

By patronizing the Urmul Desert Crafts Store, visitors contribute to the preservation of traditional crafts and the livelihoods of local artisans. The store follows fair trade practices, ensuring that artisans receive fair compensation for their skills and labour.



Bikaner, with its fascinating blend of history, culture, and heritage, offers a captivating journey through time. From majestic forts and palaces to vibrant markets and spiritual sanctuaries, the city beckons travellers to explore its myriad treasures. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a seeker of spiritual solace, Bikaner promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.

As you wander through its storied streets and soak in its timeless charm, you'll discover why Bikaner is truly a gem of Rajasthan. Let's plan your Bikaner adventure today with our exclusive tour packages and experience the rich heritage and vibrant culture of Rajasthan's historic city!

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